Active Dependency

The Transportation Security Administration is looking into the prospects and processes for taking passenger temperatures among all of TSA’s actual security duties.

Airlines have been pushing for the Transportation Security Administration to start taking passengers’ temperatures as part of a multifaceted effort to keep potentially sick people from boarding planes and to make passengers feel more comfortable taking trips again.

Such a thing is supposedly to cost under $20 million, and it won’t cost passengers anything. Instead, all of us taxpayers will be paying for the passengers’…concerns. To the extent those exist; it is, after all, the airlines pushing, not pax.

Economic Reopening, Resistance, and Perspective

As States reopen for business, and as increasing numbers of businesses reopen and customers patronize them against State government encouragements or outright diktats to the contrary, Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Joe Biden is nattering on that President Donald Trump’s policies are undermining the core pillars of our economic strength. In the meantime, the NLMSM is focusing ghoulishly on body counts and not mentioning any other relevant information.

The following table looks at some data for three States mentioned in one Wall Street Journal article, another State mentioned in a different WSJ article, and two States mentioned by Fox News.

Personal Responsibility and Black Americans

Surgeon General Jerome Adams, among too few others, has pointed out that part of the reason the Wuhan Virus is hitting minorities so much harder than others—with blacks getting the bulk of the ink on this—is because of their inaction on factors under their control.  Leave aside factors like the pre-existence of health conditions like obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, medical conditions that are generally beyond their control. Leave aside, further, that individual life-style choices can nevertheless significantly affect, if not eliminate, those conditions.

A Supreme Court Error

No, I’m not talking about the Court’s cowardice on gun rights. This one concerns the Court’s nearly unanimous decision regarding any Congress’ ability to undo what a prior Congress has done and the Executive Branch’s obligation to spend money that hasn’t been appropriated.

The Court upheld health coverage providers’ demand, under Maine Community Health Options v US for

payments to health insurers for so-called risk corridors in ObamaCare’s first three years[.]

Never mind that the 112th Congress, in 2010, undid what the prior 111th Congress had done and both refused to appropriate funds for those “risk corridors” and explicitly forbade the Executive Branch from making any risk corridor payments from other funds.

Drug Approvals

Dr Henry Miller, ex of the FDA where he founded the agency’s Office of Biotechnology, had some thoughts on how to speed up vaccine approval procedures in his Wednesday op-ed. They’re good ideas; although many of them only niggle around the edges of a long-ish procedure.

I have an additional idea.

Allow doctors to broadly prescribe the vaccine—or any drug—once it’s been shown to be safe. Such drugs should be clearly marked, and the patient clearly advised, that while the vaccine has been shown to be safe, it hasn’t been shown to be effective.

Medicare for All

Simon Johnson, of the MIT Sloan School of Management and an “informal” advisor to Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D, MA) presidential campaign, thinks her Medicare for All scheme is the cat’s meow.  It would, he claims

cut costs by reducing inefficiency, eliminating predatory pricing (for example, for prescription drugs) and using the purchasing power of a single-payer system. Her plan would also constrain the growth rate of underlying medical costs.

Obamacare Premiums

Stephanie Armour noted that Obamacare premiums are expected to be lower in 2020 than they are this year, and she wondered whether that means Obamacare is working, or if there remain problems to be fixed.

The drop doesn’t address the core problem with Obamacare: it’s a government welfare program that mandates coverages at prices independent of the risk being transferred.

Falling premiums? They’re still much too high, as are deductibles (which Armour completely omitted from her article), especially when compared to what would be the case in a free market, and they’re for coverages that aren’t, generally, needed, to boot.

Racism in School Admissions

Federal District Judge Allison Burroughs, of the Massachusetts District, has ruled in a Harvard admissions case that racism in its admissions process is entirely jake.

Race conscious admissions will always penalize to some extent the groups that are not being advantaged by the process, but this is justified by the compelling interest in diversity and all the benefits that flow from a diverse college population.

With that, Burroughs has exposed her own racist bent.  Her “justification” is just her cynical rationalization of her racism. It stinks.

Only Part of the Story

New Hampshire publishes on a State Web site the prices charged by hospitals in the State, and President Donald Trump is working up an Executive Order that would, with some differences in breadth (including information on the prices negotiated with insurers), make the practice a nationwide one.

Price transparency is a Critical Item in controlling—bringing down—the cost of health care, but it’s only part of the story.  A measure of cost transparency would be useful, too, not only for the consumer, but for governments as they look for (non-subsidy, non-tax) ways to further price competition.

Surprise Medical Billing

The Wall Street Journal recounted one such example and a (partial, I say) solution in Benedic Ippolito’s (of the American Enterprise Institute) Tuesday op-ed.

The example was a man with a broken jaw who was transported, unconscious, to a hospital ER for treatment.  The hospital turned out to be in his medical insurance network, but the treating surgeon turned out not to be.  The latter’s bill was for $8,000, which the insurer refused to pay.  The man was unaware of that fee until after the treatment had been effected.